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Entertainment / Games

Pamparam Kothu

Pamparam Kothu

In my childhood, one of our favourite games was Pamparam Kothu among the boys. It is a game where three or four boys play with the Spinning Top called Pamparam in malayalam. Different kinds of Spinning Tops (simple to fancy) where available. Depending upon the proficiency, we choose costly or cheap ones. The rope used to wind it was also important as otherwise the tension and the spin will not be proper. The nail of the Top has to be kept very sharp so that it can leave marks on other Tops or even damage them. This was normally a summer activity during holidays as the ground will be dry and hard, allowing better spin of the Tops. Like many other country-side games, this has also given way to Cricket and I don’t know if anyone still plays it.

How to play

All players will get ready for the toss, winding their Tops with the rope. For the toss, at the count of three (1,2,3) each one has to unwind the top on to the ground, to rotate and then pick it up with their rope as fast as possible. The loser is one who fails to catch the Top while it is spinning or if his Top fails to spin on the ground or could even be the last guy who catches the Top. The loser(s) keep the Top(s) inside a circle drawn on the ground. Others will then start spinning their Tops on to the Top(s) kept inside the circle, trying to break or get them out of the circle. The Top which hits other Tops inside the circle has to be picked up while it is still spinning or it has to exit the circle while it is spinning, for that person to be successful and continue next round. If the Top spins inside the circle, others can stop it inside the circle so that it remains in, for the next session.

The winding, spinning, hitting and picking should be done very fast. During the process of hitting by others, a Top can get damaged slightly or completely by the nail on the Top(s) hitting it. It is a prestige to have one’s Top intact, without any scratch or damage, for he is a good player. Below is a short video of children playing the Pamparam Kothu.

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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1 Comment

  1. Sreekumar well written, reminds me of my childhood, it is called Bugri in kannada. My elder brother & I would compete as to whose Bugri spins for a long period. It was so much of fun…

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